A/N: This is a detailed side story for my Doctor Who AU 'Verse. It's 'All About' Jamie and the Doctor. How they met, what adventures they had, and finally why they were parted. It's a prequel to Doctor Who and the Great Eclipse even though I'm writing it now, and mean it to be read in conjunction with Doctor Who and the Tangled Web. This is meant for those folks with no exposure to the second Doctor. This chapter covers the serial "The Two Doctors". Placement based on Outpost Gallifrey's timeline. I was, at first, considering this a 'season 6b' serial, but the reasons for placing it here are just too compelling... Ignore that the actors are aged in the real broadcast, and just let yourself believe that they do fit here. Because of the Time War some events are altered slightly. Again, Blame Romana... Scenes that don't have either the Doctor or Jamie directly involved will not be included. Transcripts of the episodes are used as reference for dialogue, along with photonovels where the BBC has lost / destroyed them. Inspiration and Titles come from the T.a.t.u song "All About Us" that was used for the video featuring this ship.

Please note that this sets up a crossover with my current 9th Doctor Story, Tangled Web, on a more crash-head-first-into level. The next part of this might end up as the second half of that story, or as a standalone piece.

Oh... A Favorite Story listing! Thank you, SailorEarth5. And to my reviewer, OtherMeWriter – yeah, I really got roped into modding for a bit, my comp rebelled and broke, and I can't afford a new one, so no games for me. Writing really is much better for my brain.

Part 7b: Side Trips (or what the naughty boys get up to while Victoria studies Graphology)

(It's All About -- All About Us)

It's difficult to say how much time passes when one can travel in time and space. Time flows differently inside a TARDIS after all. Years can pass between exits if the very much alive ship suspends itself upon arrival but delays telling anyone. Not only that, but sometimes the Doctor forgets things, or makes side trips while his companions sleep – or in this case companion. Meaning Victoria. Jamie always leaves with him when this happens, the pair slipping out at night, being gone... Time passes slower inside me and Miss Waterfield never guesses at the days that past while she sleeps.

The Doctor had taken to teaching Jamie a bit about the controls, but never telling him that the randomizer kept the course erratic on purpose. In many ways I almost felt like my pilot was hiding something. All I knew was that his draw on the power over time was quite high. I assumed it was to keep Jamie from ageing during their extensive wandering. Because of my fondness for the Scottish piper I did not limit this use (or abuse, some might call it) of his power.

I suppose I'm guilty of enabling this behaviour, by not ever letting on, neither to Victoria about the extra stops nor to the Doctor about the power draw. But these nightly stops make the Doctor so very happy, and I'm sure that Jamie is part of it, mysterious as it is. I won't interfere.

It's not as though the young lady is enjoying this adventure-filled lifestyle when she is included. The stops she experiences, like the layover in the Twenty-second century at NovaLon Hypercities, the visit to Madagascar, and the rush through 1968 Lychburg, usually leave her more shaken than she lets on, reminding her how drastically her life has changed. Neither the far future nor the past sits well with her, and the monsters, the running for your life, the alien food, -- all of it, really -- still frightened her very much.

I try to calm her, to distract her, providing her with things that she enjoys. Eventually her mind latches onto one of the more obscure sciences I know. When she broaches the idea of putting in some serious study, the Doctor requires convincing. But for the young Miss Waterfield's mental health, I push for it, and he, amazingly enough, listens. At the next stop he sets her up as a student with a grant for expenses, an ID, and calls upon an old friend to keep an eye on her. The elderly human professor is perfectly willing, once his palms are greased with funds, to help Victoria with her adjustments to this time and place as well as her studies in Graphology.

Before he can leave the institute where he's set up Victoria with her studies another woman calls his name, and he turns to look at her. "Doctor! Oh, I was sure that I'd miss you, again. You are a hard fellow to catch." The young lady's double heatsbeat gives away that she's one of his kind. The clothes mark her as much of a renegade as he is. Her long blond hair falls to her shoulders in a regal mass, framing her heart shaped face.

"I beg your pardon? Exactly who are you?" he fixed her with as much of a glower as his face in this body can manage. Which is rather a lot, really.

The young Time Lady flashes him a bright smile, "Oh, I can't tell you. There's a reason you can't read my biodata, after all." She bit her lip, then happily said, "But you can call me Fred, if you like."

He grumbles at this most common of human names that clearly does not suit this woman. Her smiles, while bright and cheerful, have an underlying sense of fatalism. She's seen things that she can't tell him in any way, and yet, he must trust her. "Fred. Somehow I don't think that's the name you chose for yourself."

"It's immaterial, really. I haven't got much time, and I need you do a favour for me."

"Rather the forceful one, aren't we?" The Doctor looked her over, trying to place what little he could detect from her. "You're not CIA are you? Not from the Counsel?" She shook her head, and then laughed, shaking even harder. "What then? Trying to get me to go home? Jamie, lad... Go back inside the TARDIS, please."

"I'd not leave you, Doc-" the piper begins.

"Jamie. Now," the tone sends the man into the blue box and the woman's brown eyes follow his form, softening at the sight of the time ship's shape. "You seem to know her..."

The Time Lady reached past the Doctor and stroked a light finger against the roughened painted wood, "I have the privilege of having met her, and you, in your future, Doctor. Not in this face, of course. Please, if you do this for me, I'll owe you a favour later, one you can collect any where, and any when. And I'd gladly risk – anything – to carry it out." Her gaze holds his steady for a moment, then drifts down to his stomach. The Doctor pales and closes his coat. "You'll need me, and this favour, later."

"No I won't."

She smiles again, "Oh, yes. You will, Doctor. Your very life will depend on it. And besides, in my timeline, I've already done, so you already own me this." His face becomes alarmed. "But don't worry, I won't tell anyone what you've been doing with your human lover, Doctor. I'm not the one that -"

'Stop!' he orders her mentally. '-just stop. Bad enough that you know, without the threats on top of it. What do you want me to do?'

I don't overhear the rest of the communication, as the Time Lady is mentally quite powerful. More than able to block me, both from her own thoughts and the Doctor's thoughts as well. There's an inkling about her of futures beyond, struggles that the small blond is working through, things she knows that I should not. My pilot opens the door for her after their deep sharing, looking tired, and perhaps a little sick. The little Time Lady glances at Jamie with such sadness before she moves to the console. Even though the Doctor does not see it and in fact does not trust her, he's powerless to ignore what she is asking him to do. He unlocks the controls for her and she hands him a remote recall for me. He places the disk into his breast pocket as though it was quite a precious thing. And really it is, it will allow him to call me to him across time and space. Very rare, that disk. "Well there you are, Fred. Do you need a spanner?"

She somehow manages to laugh again, "I've got a sonic, thank you." and the young but wise beyond her years Time Lady carefully installs the component inside my controls for the remote to work. Somehow, she knows how to adjust it to make it not hurt, as though she's traveled with me before. But I know I've not met her, and I should not be meeting her now. The sorrow she radiates makes me not protest this tampering with Time. But I want to know, why is she changing things? Like me, she loves him enough to shatter universes for him, to desperately risk all of reality. She inputs the data for my flight, bypassing the randomizer and locking in the recall circuit to this point in space but a year advanced, so that Victoria has her time to study. Now once the Doctor chooses to use the proper button he can come back here, no matter how many random trips he makes first. She communicates this to him with a touch, and I feel Jamie react to it with strong jealousy. It startles me because normally I can't sense much about him. But for a brief moment I wonder if this Time Lady's use of the word 'Lover' has more meaning than I normally allow for in reference to my pilot.

The small Time Lady waits until she's outside, then places a delicate hand on my side, 'He is most precious, the hope of the Universe, I can't tell you how much, or when, and for that I'm sorry, Lynx. But your Doctor, someday, will give you – everything. Just guard him.' None of it makes sense, but the flashes of the future, dark and horrible, flow around her like a jumble. She shows me, not the current events, but future ones that will build on this one, and I know the enemy of the distant future will kill my Doctor if he doesn't do this now. But the now will hurt him too. No wonder the Time Lady is sad.

Once she walked away the Doctor wasted no time in pressing the switch to dematerialize. He stood fast, but the hop in the vortex didn't take long, more because the programing was quite exact than anything else. Well, that and the fact that the Time Lady urged me to go right there and not fiddle. "This shouldn't take long, just a hop to a small science station to speak with a friend." I materialize in space. The Doctor takes a deep breath and looks at the scanner, "Come here, Jamie." The Scotsman calmly closes the distance and sucks in a breath as the dark haired man clutches his hand, letting the tingle that he normally holds back flow into the boy. "Look at that," he indicates the image, showing what amounts to a floating city in space, a metropolis built over successive waves of growth, "Space Station Chimera..."

"Look at the size o' that thing, Doctor!"

The Time Lord nods, "Yes, Jamie. That is a big one."

Jamie frowns, "'Just a wee laboratory,' eh?"

"Well, it's.. obviously.. it's grown," the expression on his face is one that relays exactly how much he is wondering about the individual that sent them here. He huffs.

"It's like twenty castles in the sky! Are you sure we've come to the right place?" Jamie asks as he moves to double check the readings, reaching for a lever that he knows will help with this task.

The Doctor smacks his fingers, "Of course I am!"

Jamie snatches his hand back, not really angered at the contact, "Ow... We don't usually get to where you say we're going."

The Doctor frowned. Perhaps he should tell the lad about the randomizer. He sighs, "I got Victoria to where she wanted to go. Though why she wants to learn graphology, I've no idea." He turned to the readings, "Besides, Fred set the controls, Jamie." He sends the lad the mental image of the blond to stave off questions and frowns. This is the correct time, and the correct place. Why does he feel like he's walking into a massive trap? And will it endanger – no, he's not going to worry about that, not even think it. Fred indicated that he'd survive this, no matter what the danger, and he might even be able to stave off a later tragic happen-stance. If nothing else he trusts that information.

Jamie mumbled, "Ah, will we ever get back to her, though."

This makes him blink, yes he must tell the piper more about the controls, "Of course we will!"

"I'll believe that when I see it," Jamie contends.

"Jamie, I have the fast recall set, right here, locked in. It will take us straight back to Victoria, with a year's jump, at the end of her studies. Fred programmed it. All right?" The lad nods, glancing at the control. That makes him feel better about leaving Miss Waterfield behind. The Doctor's face flushes for a moment, "And there's a randomizer on the controls, to – randomize – the readings, so that we can't be tracked or followed, like Fred clearly managed to do. If she'd been anyone else, the situation might have been very bad."

"So it's not your steerin'?" Jamie asks, "You mean to be lost?"

He doesn't want to think about this now, really he doesn't. His hands are shaking, and he knows he needs to tell Jamie more, but he can't. He just – can't. "Don't you like our adventures?"

The lad closes his mouth, then says, "Of course. I like them very much. All my time with you."

The Doctor's brilliant smile wipes his mind clean of any other questions, dazzling and dumbfounding him. By the time Jamie's mind starts working again the Time Lord is back on the controls and carefully plotting his way inside the station, "Now then..." Jamie watches how the controls are manipulated, noticing that he's not learned these switches yet. The Doctor smiles at him again, inviting this time, and he moves close again, "I think we'll just dematerialize to avoid their detection beams, and slip in quietly." He indicates the readings that somehow become understandable with the brush of a hand over Jamie's.

The lad studies what he's doing then frowns, "Er, I thought you said they were friendly."

This makes the Doctor snort with amusement, remembering the last time he came here, "Friendly? I should think they'll be overwhelmingly so."

"Then why are we 'slipping in quietly?'" the lad asks still confused.

"Jamie, some of the most brilliant scientists in the universe have assembled here to work together in pure research. I don't want them to know that I've arrived!" The lad still looks lost, he shakes his head at him, "Think of the commotion! They'd all be scrambling around, wanting my autograph. No no no, I just want a quiet word with old Dastari, head of projects. Quick in, quick out. Back to Victoria. OK?" Jamie nods at this and the Doctor focuses on the controls. The one lever he needs hasn't been used in ages. He pulls the oil can for it from a pocket and lubricates it, "Right..." In spite his efforts the lever still sticks when he attempts to push it forward, no matter how much force he applies. He huffs and pleads with the TARDIS herself and she sends him a feeling that relays her willingness to work with him here. He pushes again, this time the lever moves all the way forward. The room shakes around them, something explodes and she assures him quickly that it is very minor, whatever it was. Both passengers hold on tightly, but the transit is quite short, "Splendid! We've hit conterminous time again."

Jamie rolls his eyes, "Well, we've certainly hit something."

The Doctor looks at the piper, barely holds back a flirt, shakes his head as he remembers they are still inside the ship, "Oh, Jamie.. Right, follow me." They reach the doors and the Time Lord puts his hand on Jamie's shoulder, "Wait!" He turns the lad to face him and puts a hand on his face, fingers against his temple. Fear flashes through him, something awful is about to happen. He carefully constructs a mental block inside Jamie's head before his lover can stop him, linking all the lad's humanity to the core of his being that he hides there. 'Someone knows, Jamie. Someone knows how I feel, what we've done. Remember, no matter what you witness here, no matter what you see, if you still feel me inside you, in here, there is hope. I'm with you, always.' He pulls his mind back, "Jamie, don't go wandering off. Stay with me."

"Do I ever?"

This earns him another frown, "It has been known. And, er, let me do the talking, hm? All you have to do is to stand in the background, and admire my -" Jamie's voice joins his, somewhat mocking, "diplomatic skills." They however exit into the kitchens, which is not really the best of places, considering Dastari's habit of fondness for the most barbaric of species.

The rotund pock-marked chef is waiting for their exit, threatening with the most sure airs. "How dare you! How dare you transmat that.. 'object' into the kitchens of Shockeye, o' the Quawncing Grig?" He picks up a large knife and brandishes it with skill.

An Androgum? Has Dastari gone completely mad? "How dare you have the impertinence to address me like that? I am a Time Lord, and I am not interested in your pedigree." He needs to get Jamie out of here, quickly as possible. He feels the counter for a weapon as he edges the lad toward the door.

"Oh.. Oh.. I - my humblest apologies! I - I - I should have realized," the flame-haired eyebrows drooping in submission. He then spots the other fellow, a young juicy male, and nearly begins to salivate, "Er.. this, um, this one with you? Oh, such a soft white skin.. whispering of a.. a tender succulence.. Dastari will not appreciate its qualities, you know. He has no sensual refinement. Let me buy it from you."

Jamie tightens his grip on the Doctor's arm, "My companion is not for sale! He is from the planet Earth. A human."

This makes the alien smack his lips, "A Tellurian? Oh! I have not seen one of these before, I.. is it a gift for Dastari? I promise you lord, no chef in the nine planets would do more to bring out the flavour of the beast!"

The shocked air about the Doctor is more assurance than the vegetable that the Time Lord threatens the Androgum with, "A gift?? No! He's neither a gift nor food. Get away from us, you foul creature!" Heavens, if the Androgum realizes his current state then things will really get bad, "You get on with your butchery!" He frowns at the cucumber like plant in his hand and forces Shockeye to take it. He snags Jamie's hand, "Come along, Jamie!" The Scot twists to keep his eyes on the alien until the door closes, alarmed by the fellow's moans. Moments later there's the thud of a heavy cleaver into a side of meat. Jamie jumps a bit and further clings to the Doctor.

"Who was tha'?"

"Shockeye o' the Quawncing Grig, so he said. He's an Androgum, Jamie." this causes Jamie to look back to make sure they are still alone and that the alien has remained in his kitchens. "The Androgums are the servitors here. They do all the station maintenance." He thinks a moment and reaches for the remote, carefully making sure it is there still, and triggering the first command Fred told him about, 'In case of danger, or a need to send your ship away, press this programmed trigger. She'll wait for you in the Vortex.'

Jamie translates the situation into one he can relate to, "Ah, you mean a scullion."

They are walking now to their goal, "Yes, with a high opinion of himself. Chefs usually have."

The echoing sound of Verity following his command reaches their ears. Jamie turns back, "That's the TARDIS!" He quickly reassures the lad that he sent the ship away and can call it back, they are in no danger of being left here. Or rather, less danger than they might be otherwise. The sensation of trouble washes over him again, leaving him shaking. They need to finish this quickly and leave. He ushers Jamie into a lift, through several more maze like passages and into the office of the man he needs to see.

The fellow is surprised to see him, but listens to everything the Doctor has to say. "I remember it very clearly, Doctor. You came to our inauguration, bearing fraternal greetings from Gallifrey."

The Doctor frowns, "Yes, yes.. that was before I, er, fell from favour. I - I'm a bit of an exile these days. Dastari, you can't have expected help from the Time Lords. Their policy is one of strict neutrality!"

"Nonetheless, there's been widespread disappointment among the other Third Zone governments," he says as he moves around the desk to a more open position.

The Doctor made a face, shaking his head "Don't chide me Dastari, I'm simply a messenger. Officially, I'm here quite unofficially. I'm a pariah! Exiled from Time Lord society. They can always deny sending me. But, they have been monitoring the experiments in time travel of the professors Kartz and Reimer. They want them stopped."

"I see... And how do the Time Lords equate that with a policy of complete 'neutrality?'" the man tosses back as he looks about his lavishly appointed office.

"They don't have to. As I said, I have no official existence. So, they can always deny sending me," the Doctor says again, glumly.

This makes the other man chuckle bitterly, "Ho-ho-ho.. oh, typical... Typical hypocrisy!" A woman enters at that moment, and suddenly the Doctor has a flash of what is about to happen, "Yes, Chessene?"

"I wondered if your guests require refreshment, Professor." At this the Doctor refuses, politely, but firmly. "Very good, Professor." She leaves. Destari reveals that she's been augmented, but is also an Androgum. His race, like the Doctor's, is an old one feeling the effects of sterility. He dreams of renewed vigour and life, even if that vigour and life is horribly twisted. The Doctor tries to warn him, but it is already too late. Genius and high passion without moral compass is a dangerous combination.

Somehow he manages to work the conversation back to the issue, but Dastari stubbornly digs in his heels, "Even if I wanted to, Doctor, I have no authority to order professors Kartz and Reimer to abandon their work. And what reason would I give? That 'the Time Lords have expressed concern?'"

The Doctor frowns, "Of course you have! You sanction all the experiments on this station. Dastari, our monitors have already detected ripples of up to point-four on the Bocher scale. Anything much higher would threaten the whole fabric of time! I've a suggestion. Stop these experiments for the time being, whilst my people study their work. If Kartz and Reimer really are on safe lines, I'm sure they'll be allowed to continue."

This unfortunately raises even more hackles, "They are well aware of the dangers, Doctor. They are responsible scientists. But hasn't it occurred to you that the Time Lords have a vested interest in ensuring that others do not discover their secrets? Your own machine is no longer in the station. Isn't that because you didn't want Kartz and Reimer to get a look at it? And what do you mean 'Allowed to continue?'"

"They are incompetent meddlers, and my machine isn't here because of something completely unrelated. If the experiments proved to be as harmless as you claim then my people would have no further objections. They've let others discover Time Travel, it's not something as hidden as all that. Only that missteps threaten reality itself!"

Dastari fumes and half gets to his feet, "In the first place, I have no authority to ask Kartz and Reimer to submit their work for analysis. And in the second place, the Time Lords have no right to make such a grossly unethical demand! I've never heard such unmitigated arrogance!"

Unethical? He is not being unethical. He's risking his life here, damn it all, "And I've never heard such specious claptrap! Oh, don't you pray to me about ethics! The balance of the space-time continuum could be destroyed by your ham-fisted numbskulls!"

Suddenly Dastari pales, " I.. don't feel there's anything to be gained by.. prolonging this discussion, Doctor." He's feeling unwell. Jamie sees it, but the Doctor does not.

"Dastari, you have more letters after your name than anyone I know. Enough for two alphabets. How is it you can be such a stupid, stubborn, irrational, and thoroughly objectionable old idiot?" He glances at Jamie who smirks at him, "Oh, what are you smiling at, you, you hairy-legged highlander?" behind him Dastari removes his glasses and sinks back into his chair, struggling to remain aware.

The piper dares to flirt, "I'm just admiring your diplomatic skills." He knows that in places like this he can get away with it.

The Doctor flushes a bit, "Pah!"He then looks over at Dastari and notices with a bit of alarm that the fellow is slumped against the desk, "Dastari?"

"He's go' his head do'n, Doctor. I can't say I blame 'im," Jamie says in his rich Scottish burr, sending shivers down the Time Lord's spine.

This reaction is not what he needs right now. "I'll thank you not to speak in that appalling mongrel dialect."

Jamie smirks even more, knowing exactly how the Doctor feels at the moment, "I mean, he's gone to sleep."

"He's no' asleep -" both men catch the slip at the same time, Jamie with triumph and the Doctor with a wince, "He's not asleep Jamie. He's drugged!" The sounds of battle outside cut off the lad's questions. Hell. "I would have thought a Jacobite would recognize that sound, but perhaps not laser fire. Listen to me, Jamie. -" He's interrupted by a man running past screaming a warning. The scientist struck down by a laser bolt, falling dead instantly. He knows this species. "Jamie, run."

"What?"

"Run, I say! Save yourself!" his condition will make these aliens hesitate to use his genetic material, and provide a buffer against whatever they might attempt to do to him. Jamie however... Jamie is in real danger here. 'Remember, I'm always with you, Lad. Just a thought away. As long as you can feel me, there is hope.' Jamie stares at him for a long moment, knowing that he's got no choice. The sounds of marching feet, heavy boots, pounding in unison, makes him turn tail and flee as the Doctor's eyes are begging him to do. The Time Lord turns just as the Sontaran form appears in the open door over the body of the scientist. He puts his hands in the air. He knew not to trust that woman – Fred. But no matter what, he'd keep his link with Jamie open. He would. He vowed it.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0

Jamie manages, somehow, to avoid the aliens – both those in armour that look like cutout copies of each other and the ones with the ruddy bushy eyebrows that want to eat him. He keeps trying to think of some way to reach the Doctor, because if he could... just free him then everything would be OK. Now he feels pain dancing along his nerves, but he knows where the Doctor is. He must try. The Scot makes his way to the service passage, until he spots the crate he'd placed before. The armoured aliens have converted Dastari's office to a torture chamber, and often when he feels this pain he knows the Doctor is here. He silently scales the crate and looks in.

It's the same sight he's seen before, the Doctor encased in a glass tube, bathed in blue light, soundlessly convulsing with the same pain Jamie feels skittering over his nerves. He bets he can take on the single alien in the room, if he can just sneak in there. He's torn between rage that they dared to hurt his Thete, and agony at not being able to prevent it. Well, not today. He'll get in there and he'll kill this monster for what he's putting the Doctor through. He's lost enough weight now to fit through this grill. If he can just get it open. He's so intent on his task of working it loose that he does not hear the other alien until it puts down the container it was carrying.

He swirls around, dirk in hand, ready to defend himself. The Doctor is counting on his remaining free. Needing more space he leaps off the box to the floor. He'd like nothing better than to kill the one that called himself Shockeye. The alien looks gleeful, and seems to think that the dirk is little trouble. Well... Jamie knows how to use it, and he intends to, if he must. "Whoa there... Steady now.. quiet boy.. easy.. Shockeye will not hurt you," the flame haired bushy eyebrowed creature says. His body language gives him away, though. He thinks this is sport. Jamie narrows his eyes then attacks, using a skilful upward cut to drive the horrible thing back. The scent of blood fills the air, inhuman, yes, but blood all the same. "Oh.. we are wild, aren't we?"

Just then another alien enters the room, "Shockeye! Why aren't you on the ship?" If Jamie hadn't seen her and been told she was the same as the male he might have trusted her, but now... he sees them both as a threat, and he still needs to save the Doctor.

However, Shockeye cowers, "I was just.. collecting some provisions, madam!"

"The ship is fully stocked."

The male picks up the container he'd set down, "Oh, but the standard rations are so boring. These are a few special things for the journey.. a cold collation I prepared." This gains the female's full attention, and with them both focused on the food Jamie dares to beat a hasty retreat before he falls prey to the intensifying pain that consumes the Doctor.

He contiunes feeling the faint sensation of pain, off and on. It comes through his link to the man, this Jamie knew. Sometimes the pain would increase to the point of being all he was aware of. When this happened, and Jamie had some warning that it was going to happen, he would find some dark place to hide and ride out the sensation, trying to give the Doctor as much of himself as he could. So much time passed... so very much. He lost count of the days. He hid in the worker's clothes, keeping his face hidden. The pain was always there. But that was OK. As long as he felt the pain there was hope. And then the pain faded...

It was the sound first that drew him back to the kitchens. The familiar sound of Blue. A sound he knew in his heart. The pain was gone, had been gone for a long time. And with it went his mind. He discarded everything but for his dirk, and a small cloth, stained and dirty that smelt of honey and spring on the moors. This cloth was important, been left for him, he knew. Dropped from a shaking hand at one of the places where the aliens left. Sometimes when he remembered what the smell meant he cried. He cried but didn't know why.

So the sound of Blue... his but not... when it appeared it shook a memory and he huddled and waited for the odd pair to make their way away... he touched it, not sure it was real and felt her... Finally accepted. She was worried. Denial, no entrance. But then... If his Thete had listened to him finally then this wasn't his – blue – TARDIS. He sniffed the air. Smelled the same. He crept back into the vents and followed, silently trailing the strange couple. One male... blond curls, larger man than he knew so well, unable to feel him as he should, so long... so.

The others trip the defenses. He backs away, knowing where to go to be safe.

This other Thete, not his, picks up the girl when she dropped and carries her. The go into the same place his Thete had spent so much time in. The lights come on. The man tricks the door open into the service hall after a bit. He scurries away, but not before he catches a whiff of honey and spices. This is his Thete, but changed. And the girl is touching him. Possessive rage flows from within. He trails them back to blue. The observes where they are going. He knows how to get to the bottom and can be there before they are. He makes his way down and is waiting for them when they land. The girl is first. He has time, he could kill her, but something keeps him from acting.

Thete cares for this female. He shouldn't kill her, should he? Instead he follows them as the move through the maze here, knowing the space better than his own mind. They reach the mind of the castles in the sky and the girl separates even though he has let them know he's following (and sometimes leading) them. She smells of honey and cloves still and he is overwhelmed. He must get closer.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0

They landed. The Doctor knows this. He's alone, so alone.

Retreated from the pain, from the drugs, into the other inside him. Shouldn't be there, in that tiny mind, but he has no choice, can't let them get what they want; what they think they need. He can't move, but he knows they have landed. The air tells him he's on Earth, the same way it would scream Gallifrey to him. It sings in his blood, part of him.

So far his condition has saved him, forcing him to heal faster and endure more than he'd normally be able to do. He placed himself in a sort of Temporal freeze, shortly after the scan taken by the Cybermen. An effort to stop the progression and growth inside his body. He can't terminate this. Not unless he wants to die too. And he won't, can't, regenerate either. Rather a pickle, if he must say. But the unorthodox state of his body forces all the damage to almost regress to keep him in the exact state he was in when he started the Temporal freeze. He's pulling power almost directly from the vortex. So much power. And surely someone will eventually notice what he's doing and wonder why.

Of course his wardens have no idea how unusual a state he's physically in. He's given them the impression that his kind are god-like and indestructible. The Sontarans reproduce by cloning however, and none of them could even guess that he's – pregnant. Oh Rassilon. He just admitted it. It's a good thing he is paralyzed and existing in a odd super conscious state, or he'd be vomiting, violently, right about now. The fact that the entire race of Sontarans are male means that they can't even begin to imagine that he, a male, might have the ability to carry out such a foreign – female – thing. It's almost like they take the base-line medical readings they have of him and assume he's got some type of nifty sub-brain in his stomach. Some small part of him is ironically amused. If he finds Jamie again he really should tell him.

He locates the tattered edge of the bond in the larger mind, the adult body, through the pain and dares to give it a tug. But he cannot pull too hard, because if he does he'll force a physical-psychic link between the babe and Jamie and he mustn't do that, even if he's using that mind to hide in at the moment. How long has it been? How far does the bond stretch? Will Jamie feel him across time and space? He doesn't know. He's helpless. Not even his massive use of power to keep himself in this state of hyper healing lends to the overall situation. But he must do everything he can to protect -Jamie, their son- ... even if he never tells anyone, even if he's like this forever...

0o0o0o0o0o0o0

He feels a pull in his head, achy tug, a flair of the old pain. Pain was good, wasn't it. The colourful Thete was working in the colourful bubbling wall, while the female was wandering about. Maybe... maybe their blue could find his blue and get him his Thete back? He waits until the female is on the ground and sneaks up on her. He has no plan. What if she is alien? No, she smells human. Female. Cherries and honey. Honey from Thete's touching her.

She finds his stuff, his secret stash of bedding and blankets. Not important. The pain stops again. He freezes, panicked. The link falls quiet. Thete? But what is the use? He's not answered back in a very long time. She finds the cloth, the stained honey scented cloth. He leaps at her. She screams. All he wants is the cloth back. She keeps a grip on it, refusing to let it go. "Grr... MINE!" he roars it at her.

Above them the colourful Thete calls, "Peri!" and there's the hiss of the trap being sprung. Knocked out by the gas he falls onto the safety net of sorts that Jamie had created from loose cables, having fallen prey to that trap once before.

The female twists and he snatches at her hands with his other, trying to get her to let go of the cloth while retaining his own grip on it. She lets go finally, tucking into a roll and bouncing him against the wall. He grunts as he falls, having gotten what he wants, clutching at the old stained cloth like it's made of gold or something. He goes still as she stands over him, breathing hard. She recognizes that cloth. From inside a box, in the TARDIS wardrobe room, stacked with a stovepipe hat and a funny pair of wind instruments. Peri shakes her head and turns back to the Doctor, who is, typically, caught up in a webbing of cable and absolutely no use what so ever. She starts getting him down, "Thanks for your help, Doctor!" She allows his passed out form to fall in a thud to the floor and then kneels down, "Doctor? Wake up!" The fool groans at her. She frowns, "C'mon!"

He's out of sorts. Something about this should be ringing a bell. But it's not. Like it's blocked. Or something. "What is it?"

Peri scrambles to her feet then tugs the heavy man to his, ignoring his weak moans. Honestly, he's such a big baby, "C'mon, Doctor, get up! That thing you saw was an animal. It attacked me.... And it's human, I think!"

"Ugh, Peri!" He manages to get his balance, "If you hadn't screamed I wouldn't have triggered that stun jet; I was expecting there'd be one!...it can't be human. We're in the farthest reaches of the Galaxy. Huh. Ballroom gas. An ordinary person would have been unconscious for hours."

She rolls her eyes. In one breath he's telling her that Humans are everywhere, and then in the next claiming they're not, "Well it's humanoid at any rate...come and see it. And so would you if I hadn't dragged you clear of it!"

"No! I closed my respiratory passages as soon as I detected any danger!"

Such a baby... "Well, then how did you breath?"

He manages a small laugh, "With difficulty. I'll explain one day." He then spots the form, still curled. The Doctor kneels beside it, "Yes, it certainly does appear to be humanoid...so it finally mustered the courage to attack..."

"I think it might've been my fault... it was just protecting it's nest."

"Understandable," he concedes. It's a rare thing when he admits she's right about something, and Peri feels as though he has showered her with praise. The blond curly headed man turns the fellow over, and lets out a gasp, "Jamie?" Oh... a young Jamie. With his kerchief clutched in his hands. The Doctor feels his hearts skip a beat. It's been – 500, 550? years. He feels the tears in his eyes and the ache of agony flood through him, as the horrible memories of their parting pound him again. Vaguely he is aware that Peri is talking. He blinks slowly and flushes, "It's Jamie! How did he get here? He should be with me."

It occurs to her that his reaction is not normal, and his connection to this former companion is not normal, and that he's not normal... "What?" She can't deny that perhaps after a bath and a shave this bloke might be worth the Doctor's fluster, but right now the boy stinks, and she wants to leave. "Well, he's not now, Doctor, not anymore." Jamie groans.

"Yes, that's right... but if he's here, then where am I?... I must have been here, Peri!"

It takes her a moment to understand what he's saying, "You mean at some past time?"

"Uh-huh." Almost as if he's roused by the voice Jamie suddenly is fully awake and panicked, going into full fight mode. The Doctor knows the boy though, knows how to catch him and how to hold him, "It's alright, Jamie, it's all right!" He begins to try to treat the lad, working with the medical technology here, "Alright..."

The touch is familiar, the hands are not. Jamie thinks it's a trick of his demented mind, his wishing so strongly... "Keep away! Hurry! Keep off!"

He finally gets the proper dosage to calm the lad, "Jamie! It's all right!" He administers first a pulse to settle the boy's nerves, because he can't risk mental contact with him. He just can't. He can feel the bond and he wants it so badly, but he knows it no longer exists for him and he can't force it on the lad again. Jamie fights him even so, " Don't worry... it will help you to relax..." he doses him with the chemicals next, rocking him softly.

"Help him relax? You've killed him!"

He looks up at her, and raises an eyebrow at the words, "Don't be ridiculous!" then he stares back at the Scottish piper with all the longing and memories swirling in his head, "You know, I seem to remember I was always very fond of Jamie..." Understatement of the century there... very fond. Madly in love with... missed him with a passion. But he'd never leave the lad, not willingly. So what happened and where is his second self?

Peri feels a twinge of jealousy, followed closely by massive concern, "He's not moving."

"Nope. His nervous system's temporarily paralysed. He'll be fine shortly."

Jamie struggles to express what he fears is true before the familiar phantom leaves him. "Doctor...Doctor... They're killing the Doctor," he says, although it takes Peri a moment to understand him.

While her Doctor tries to get Jamie to continue, Peri realizes that he's actually making matters worse, "He's not talking to you."

This causes the Doctor to let go and nearly jump to his feet, "I'm afraid he's deranged. It's often the effect of extreme fear." Peri rolls her eyes. The blond man stalks away.

"Murdering the Doctor... They killed the Doctor..."

She sighs and brushes her fingers over his dirty cheek, "Jamie?" She leans closer, trying to connect to him, "Can you hear me? My name's Peri. I'm your friend. Do you understand?"

"Friend?" he seems hopeful for a moment until she echoes the word and then he goes back to, "They've killed the Doctor."

Her Doctor is suddenly standing behind her, "He seems very sure of that."

"Is it possible? You did SAY you were being put to death."

He wants to deny it out of hand, "Of course not! I exist therefore I am, and was." Peri gives him a look that reads 'Don't Start' and he sighs, "Oh, yes, I remember. That mind-slip in the TARDIS. Yes, I did...I wonder if it could've been here?" But there's something else going on. If only he could remember why he came here five hundred or so years ago.

"Don't ask me, I don't understand any of this!" Peri tells him.

He manages a smile at her, "Ah, neither do I! Not yet." He kneels again, producing a silver fob-watch. Only two ways to get the answer, and he can't use one of them. That leaves him with this... "Jamie, I want you to look at this pretty little thing here." He lets the watch take on a gentle sway until he's caught the piper's blue-green eyes, "See? Look how it swings? Backwards... forwards. Forwards...backwards." The lad trusts him, even as a complete stranger. He's almost acting compelled to follow the watch lifting his head even to get a better view, "It makes your eyes feel... heavy. So heavy. Sleep. Sleep." The piper doesn't even fight it, sliding into deep hypnosis smooth as you please, "Now, why did you come here with the Doctor?"

"To see Dastari," Jamie says.

"Did you see him?"

Jamie answers, "Aye... they had an argument"

This, Peri notices, causes much distress, "The Doctor had an argument with Dastari? What about?"

"The Time Lords."

Peri makes a face. What was this Time Lord stuff about? But the Doctor's slight hiss keeps her from asking anything, "What happened then, Jamie? Can you remember?"

"There was a battle. The knights came and killed everyone."

This made the Doctor frown. "The knights?" He's got some idea here as to who the real criminal are, "What were they like, Jamie, can you tell me?"

"They had a sort of... armour. Heavy... with no necks. And their hands were just... two great fingers. They killed everyone," and suddenly he's awake and struggling against the paralysis, "They killed the Doctor I saw 'em!"

The Doctors hands reach for Jamie's face reflectively before he forces them down to the lad's chest. Oh Rassilon! He's going to be so very tempted to re-establish the bond. "It's alright Jamie!" He gently murmurs the lad back into the hypnosis, "Sleep. Sleep." Jamie relaxes. He sits there a moment with his eyes closed, then carefully removes the medical devices from the piper's throat. Peri watches him silently. She could be amazingly perceptive sometimes. He stands before he falls to temptation, "He just gave a reasonably accurate description of the Sontarans." She tries to get more information from him and he brushes her off, "Let's see if anything's recorded in that computer."

Soon enough he discovers what happened here, if not the why. And he is able to reassure Jamie when Peri brings him into the room that what he saw was not the Doctor being killed. The entire thing seems simple enough, the Sontarans figuring they can use this attack to turn the local governments against Gallifery and perhaps Rutan as well. But then he realizes one other important thing. The Time Travel experiment was gone, his second self was gone, and a brilliant geneticist was gone... He swallowed. Suddenly all the pieces fell into place. Sontarans. Time Travel access. Very bad.

He concludes that the fastest way to locate himself is to attempt the mindslip again, even though it will tie him tightly to his second self, more so than most. It's a scary thing, having to live through that again. But if he doesn't do this then he could radically alter his personal timeline forever. "Now, I shall seem to be unconscious for quite a while but don't worry. And while my mind is out of my body don't touch me: don't come anywhere near me! Any sort of contact might sever the astral link and kill me," he tells the two humans in the room. He loves them both, so much, in different ways, of course, but still. He'd do this for Jamie alone. He settles on a bench in the corner of the room and closes his eyes.

Peri frowns, "How long will you be?"

He really doesn't know, "Oh, seconds... hours....days? Who knows? There's no such thing as 'time' on the astral plane." with that he closes his eyes and floats away.

Jamie is positive that this man is the Doctor. Just not his Doctor. Maybe Peri's Doctor. But not the man he's madly in love with, in spite the Doctor's claim of being the same person. He leans toward the dark headed lady, "I think your Doctor's worse than mine." She glances at him and then nods. There is no way any of the various Doctors could be worse than hers.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0

His hyper aware state reveals to him more than he really likes. The fact that Dastari is a willing partner to this madness, for one. The fact that he's been drugged (although his body is fighting it off rather better than he'd hoped for. And the chemical isn't one that will harm the growth inside him). He's strapped to a large metal table. And he guesses that he's in a cellar. A female voice echoes through his skull, "How is he?"

Oh, no-no-no... she sounds like she's taken a shine to him. It's just not possible. Well, it might be... but no. "He'll soon come round," says his former friend as he walks closer.

There's a sting and he is forced into the adult mind. Even before he opens his eyes, his thoughts turn to chemically protecting the son he's carrying. And he feels something else, another version of himself gliding over his mind, whispering that he's found his bonded, that the Scotsman is safe, that it's still OK. He's coming. They are coming. All he has to do is hold on. He flutters his eyes open, "Jamie..."

0o0o0o0o0o0o0

The Doctor's hands lowered to land on his stomach for a moment, as though he's in distress. He's contacted his second self, although it took a bit to find him, hidden as he was. Oh, Oh.. he curls and almost loses his breakfast. How did he ever hide that? Then he catches his Second self's overriding concern and fear, not for himself, oh no... but for his bonded, "Jamie!"

Both companions rush over to his side. "Oh come on, Doctor. Wake up!" Peri begs.

The Doctor blinks, "Where I am... and...where I.. Peri. Jamie. Was I away very long?"

"Doctor?" says she.

"Just minutes," the piper adds.

Oh, but he knows where he's being held. "Boing! Boing! Bells, my dear! Bells! Come on, there isn't a moment to lose." He jumps up and spins Peri around after lifting her to her feet. She is confused but as he rushes away to the TARDIS both companions decide to follow him. Good thing too, because he knows where his second self is being held and is frantic to reach him. Hell, if he didn't know better he'd swear that he was the pregnant one...

"Where are we going?"

He stops and looks at her, "I don't know... something to do with getting my hair cut." He whirls back around and starts off to the TARDIS again. The humans, confused as they are, still follow him. It not until after he's sent Jamie off for a bath that he is able to calm enough to explain to Peri what he actually heard, "Boing!... the largest of the 25 bells in the cathedral at Seville! Most distinctive."

She gives him an expression that hovers between annoyed and adoring, "You certainly specialize in arcane knowledge."

He smugly beams at her, "Of course. Now we know the area where they're holding me. Now it's in the distance..." he calculates it, "About three miles, I should judge. You ever been to Seville, Peri?"

"No. Have you?"

His exasperated expression is just too cute to ignore, "How else would I know the sounds of Mario when I hear it, oh do try and use your brain, my girl!" he actually pats her head, which is likely the most affection she's going to get from him, ever. Although he clearly can love deeper, as Jamie's very presence here shows. "Small though it is the human brain can be quite effective when it's used properly!" He turns his attention back to the TARDIS and works with his beloved timeship to get them close to his other self.

"You might be wrong," Peri contends.

He scoffs, "I'm NOT wrong. Now, the station was attacked ten or twelve days ago; in hyperdrive a Sontaran battle cruiser would take that long to reach Earth: it could only just have reached there!" He catches sight of Jamie as the lad reenters the control room and has to fight to keep his attitude neutral, "Ah, you look better for your change of clothes and your bath. You should try it more often."

"Oh, thank you. What?" Jamie finds it hard to not feel this Doctor the way he feels his own. The Doctor told him this tie would be forever, beyond death. So what would have severed it? And why did this Doctor act so hot and cold toward him?

It fell to Peri, as it did most times, to sooth ruffled feathers, "Take no notice, Jamie, he's being crotchety. I think you look wonderful."

"I am NOT crotchety. I am just...well, concerned," the Time Lord bit off his words because there were still things he couldn't tell. "About myself, chiefly. I mean, him. Languishing in some dark dungeon at the mercy of the Sontarans." But he wanted to tell Jamie, the lad deserved to be told. But who knew how badly his knowing would mess stuff up? Was he even supposed to have found him? Suddenly he didn't know. Everything was wrong.

Peri scoffed, "You can't be sure he's in a dungeon."

"There was an echo. An after resonance. When you've been locked in as many dungeons as me you wouldn't fail to recognize it. Well, are you ready?" Jamie blinks at him and asks what he should be ready for, while Peri just gets a good handhold, "Transference!" he says as he hits a switch and sending both himself and the piper backwards across the room. At least Peri has the grace to not giggle about it.

"Now my Doctor wouldna' have done THAT!" Jamie contends as he jumps in the Doctor's face. But then the temptation is to kiss the lad, and he knows he shouldn't, so he scowls. Jamie spins to the controls and makes for some switches, as though he knows what he's doing.

And it's possible he taught the lad something ... He doesn't remember now. He smacks the piper's hand. "Your Doctor, is an antediluvian fogy, allowing himself to be captured by the Sontarans. If anything happens to me as a result of it I shall never forgive himself." Not to mention the very important fact that the fellow is – currently – impossibly – pregnant. If something happens to his younger self that might cause a regeneration he'll simply fade away. Peri and Jamie both complain about his use of language making him feel even crosser than before.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0

Right, hold on. As if... but he feels like he's twisting up inside and has a very bad feeling it's only going to get worse, "Uh...good morning."

"Don't try moving. You'll feel dizzy for a time."

He knows that voice, "Dastari? So...I've been drugged." He considers the effects and how his bio-chemistry is keeping half his system free of it, "What'd you use? It feels like...one of the anemones." He swallows.

The other man gleefully says, "Absolutely right. Syrill Anemone."

His stomach churns, "Syrill Anemone?" He ignores being told to not move, as he feels like he's going to be rather sick. His body wants this out now and is filtering the stuff into his upper stomach. Suddenly he doesn't care how dignified it would be and is rather violently ill off the side of the table. It's only after its been forced from his system that he says, "But that effects the memory..."

"We're not interested in your memory," comes a female voice that is, quite frankly, more impressed than not They've had him on a fast drip of the drug the entire trip and his body's been rejecting and isolating it almost quicker than they could get it into his blood. Now she has witnessed exactly where all that solution has been stored.

The Doctor makes a face and twists to look at her, "Haven't I seen you somewhere before?" Behind her is the kitchen help, eating. He feels the need to vomit again and spits out, "Oh, augmented Androgum," before facing over the edge of the table again. This time it's more stomach acid than drug. Then the Sontarans come marching into the cellar. It's too much, and he retches again, more a dry heave, "Oh, I don't think much of the company you keep, Dastari." he ignores the babble, saving only the names of Group Marshall Stike of the 9th Sontaran attack group and Major Varl. But his mind connects the pieces together and even though he can feel Jamie it doesn't mean he's totally sure, "Sontarans... I remember now...the space station. I had someone with me...Jamie!" He looks at the woman, "What've you done with Jamie?"

She shows no compassion at all, "Your companion will be long-since dead, Doctor. The Sontarans take no prisoners."

Even though he's been sick, feels weak and shaky still, his sudden surge of panic is enough to have him spring from the surface, "No!" It takes both Dastari and Shockeye to force him into the more secure operating table. He struggles best he can, "Poor old Jamie."

0o0o0o0o0o0o0

He can feel his younger self's despair from here, honestly. Had he not been clear? He leaves his coat as it's too hot in the Spain summer for one and marches out the door. Nearly immediately he's accosted, "Officer!" just figures that for once someone would see the TARDIS and think it's a real police box. He looks about for the fellow calling while Peri and Jamie slip out the door. The man comes into his line of sight, "We have to report a tragedy. Stark disaster has struck this simple countryside."

"Tragedy?...erm, what manner of disaster, Mister..?"

"Botcheby. Oscar Botcheby at your service, sir, and this dark-eyed naiad is named Anita."

Said naiad blushes a bit, "Oh, come on, Oscar." then she addresses the Doctor, "There has been a plane crash."

He pointedly ignores the jab about his clothes and presses for information, "Er, did you see this... aeroplane?" The man explains that they didn't see the craft, but the heard it and furthermore saw three survivors, one of which was carried. They even are able to pinpoint the hacienda by name. He nods, "Were they, indeed? I think you may well have done me a great service Mr. Botcheby. I think you saw three fugitives, whose trail we have been following for a long time. Perhaps you can lead us to this hacienda?" Anita is perfectly willing to lead them there, and the Doctor is more than willing to follow, in spite the coward that Mr. Botcheby was turning out to be. The Doctor points out the public service angle of it again and gains them a guide.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0

The sensation he feels right now is one that he's not sure is good. His kind can go for up to forty days without food, normally. He's pretty sure though that his condition reduces that rather a lot. He's got some reserves, yes, but he feels like he needs water at the very least to reduce the lightheadedness. There's a noise and he turns his head to see what other infernal torture he might be subjected to. Dastari wheels in a dark pyramid-shaped single person pod, a primitive Time Capsule. Even from here he can tell what it is, and he knows it being here is very bad news, "What have you got there?"

"The Kartz-Reimer transference module," he is told.

"Well, that'll never work: I can tell that from here!" he snarls, "All it did was produce a few hiccups in the time continuum: enough to tell us that dangerously crude experiments were going on."

He gets a raised eyebrow, "It worked well enough to bring you to the Space Station, Doctor. Kartz and Reimer were clearly on the right track: several androgums successfully vanished into time during those experiments. Unfortunately we were unable to bring them back."

"Unfortunate? No one can travel through time without a molecular stabilization system."

Dastari beams, "We know that now. And we know that Time Lords have a symbiotic link with their machines which protects them, and anyone with them, against destabilization."

At this he gets a very sinking feeling, expressed with a shaky laugh. It quickly turns bitter, "Guess work!" The problem is Dastari is half right. The changes are wrought in every Time Traveler, by the TARDIS. Part of what she does as soon as someone steps inside. However, he does have a link to his, weakened. It's going to be impossible to explain that what he's after he won't find, simply because he's looking for the wrong thing. Control and survival are two entirely different elements.

"DON'T underestimate Chessene, Doctor. She was the brain behind Kartz and Reimer. And it was she who realized that the missing element had to lie somewhere -" he motions to the Doctor's head, "in here."

Wrong, wrong wrong... his connection with his TARDIS exists in he hearts more than his brain. In his soul more than his body. The bad thing is, Dastari is brilliant to figure this out, after he's been killed. "So what're you going to do? Hm? Cut me up, piece-by-piece?"

"Let us say cell-by-cell, or gene-by-gene, until I isolate the symbiotic nuclei."

Oh, but – he can't do that! Currently his body is in a state of Temporal freeze. Taking a blood sample or a few surface cells won't work because of genetic flux. And no matter how the scientist tries, he won't be getting results from him that will make any logical sense because of his draw on the Vortex. He's got so much artron energy in his blood and brain right now that the experiment must fail. Oh but it is going to hurt... "When did you go mad, Dastari?"

The man has the gall to laugh at his panic and anger, "I assure you I am not at all mad."

"Then you're totally under Chessene's domination!" his mind snaps ahead to the simple fact that if she's behind this all then things could get very much worse before they are better, "Are you going to give her the power of time travel? Is that the idea?"

"I shall put her among the gods! And there will be no limit to her achievements." after a moment he says, "You don't know Chessene. I confess I was sad that the Time Lords chose to send you as their emissary. Because I've always had a certain... regard for you, Doctor, personally."

He frowns and struggles, "There'll be no limit to her capacity for evil! She's an Androgum, Dastari, whatever you may say! She'll snap off the hand that feeds her whenever she feels hungry!"

"The operation will, by necessity, be very painful. But-"

"–it'll hurt you more than it hurts me," he cuts off the fellow with much sarcasm.

It earns him a second glance at least, "What gave you that idea? No, I was going to say 'but at least you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you have been part of a great undertaking'."

As the man walks away the Doctor vents his anger, "You are an irresponsible old fool! The Androgums are barbarians! Release them into time and every civilized species in the Galaxy will curse your name! Do you hear me?" but the upper door closes, leaving him alone with his worry, "Oh, my giddy-on, oh crumbs!" He's left to stew for all of fifteen minutes before Stike rolls a try with various surgical things on it into the space, "Tea-time already, Nurse?"

The bloke gives him a typical blank look, "I do not understand."

"Just as well. A face like yours wasn't made for laughing." He moves the tray a bit more and fumes. The Doctor tries another tactic to get free, "What was it? 'A vital strike in the Madeline Cluster'? Oh, dear me. Nothing changes, does it? You and the Rutans have become petrified in your attitudes."

"The operation must begin at once. I am needed at the front. Nothing can change until victory is achieved! But..." he pauses to think, which for his species is a scary thing, "but I fear I might have made a tactical error."

"Oh, I thought the Sontarans never made mistakes. Why don't you resign, Stike? Take a pension?"

The fellow glowers, "It is not easy being commander; the loneliness of supreme responsibility." he then leans in closer, "When I die it will be alongside my comrades at the front. Doctor, you have a chance to, in death, help the Sontaran cause. Tell Dastari where your symbiotic nuclei are in your cell structure! Time will be saved and I can be on my way."

"How can I do that?" He feels – oh, yes. The link he forged with Jamie thrums and throbs. His dear Jamie. Must be fairly close then. How? Had the piper stowed away? Had Fred sent more help? Or was he captive, because the Sontarans realized that anyone who had been in a TARDIS could survive that primitive Time Capsule? "Is that what Chessene's offered you? The knowledge of unlimited time travel?" in spite himself, he laughs. It's a bitter harsh sound. Stike moves out of his personal space, " If that's the case, you should watch your back, Stike."

"What?"

How can he not know? "She's an Androgum! A race to whom treachery is as natural as breathing! They're a bit like you Sontarans in that respect!" This should gain him the right to duel, and up off this table. Instead Stike hits him across the face hard enough to rattle teeth and crack bone, which heals instantly thanks to the Temporal freeze.

"That's for a slur on my people!"

"And for that I demand satisfaction!" he spits back. If Stike is as honour bound as others of his ilk he should release his captive and face him in honest battle.

But Stike shakes his entire form in negative, "You know that is impossible!"

"I am challenging you to a duel, Stike! That is traditional among Sontarans, isn't it?"

The fellow moves to hit him again, "Oh, I would dearly love to kill you!" but he stops himself with the greatest of difficulty, "...but unfortunately you are needed alive."

He's never been so angered, never. Well maybe once before. But not over such stupidity, "Release me, Stike! You are not only without honour... you're a coward as well!"

Then the real blow falls, "As you are not a Sontaran, Doctor, you cannot impugn my honour." He storms away.

Well, fiddlesticks. He sighs. Usually Sontarans took that bait and ran with it. Not, apparently, this one. "Well, that didn't work, did it?"

0o0o0o0o0o0o0

He's left his companions up on a hill in hiding and slipped to the house in question to get a look about. Now he felt in the pit of his stomach this nausea that was brought about by the increased mental connections with his second self. Whatever it was that was being done made his younger self violently ill, and he's not sure he can explain that to Jamie, or Peri for that matter, without making a royal mess of it all. So he goes alone, secretly hoping he can get inside and get his younger self out easily.

It's not to be, however. First he runs across an odd conversation about food of all things. It should be a clue, he suspects. But the woman looks like a thousand other advanced alien species – human rather, and does not raise an overt sense of alarm even if the male with her is studying several cookbooks at a time while stuffing his face and rattling off habits that humans engage in with their food production. If he could just get a look at the fellow's face he'd know exactly what he's dealing with here. Of course he falls. Stupid. Really.

He barely avoids being seen by the dark headed woman that leans out the window looking for the source of the noise. He's grateful that she does not look down. There's little else to see once the window closes. He detects another alien form, one that bothers him a bit, and decides that he needs more help. He carefully makes his way back to the others.

They are chatting about acting of all things and not even Jamie hears him as he approaches. Well Anita does, but looks the wrong way. At least they have the will to hide at the warning. He's already in their chosen spot and clears his throat. "Oh, Doctor, you scared us! Do you have to creep up like that?" Peri admonishes.

He sits, "You were expecting a brass band?"

Jamie sighs, "Did ya find out anything?"

The worry etched into the Scottish piper's face ages him like nothing else. The Doctor wants to comfort him. But – he can't. Too risky, to even willingly touch the lad. He sighs, "No... but the Sontarans are here, I can sense their presence. Anita, this Doña Arana, is she tall and dark?" The young lady answers that with a no. He frowns, "Oh, it wasn't her, then. I couldn't see the man she was with: He had his back to me. I couldn't tell if he was human or not."

Jamie swallows, "That woman, was she wearing a long gray frock?"

"Couldn't have put it better myself."

The Scot nods, "Well, she was at the Space Station, then!"

Behind them Oscar is making odd sounds and trying to figure out if they are joking. The Doctor fixes him with an expression that makes him fall silent, somewhat frightened. The Time Lord then turns back to Jamie, "Was she now?"

"Aye. Dastari said she was... angriman... or something."

"Androgum?"

Jamie's face lights up, "Yeah, that's it. Oh, he said he'd done some operations and turned her into a genius."

Things start to fall into place, and that odd conversation suddenly makes much more sense, "Of course!... though her features haven't the heaviness of a typical Androgums. Whatever Dastari's done to her mind her nature will stay exactly the same... and Androgums have as much emotional capacity as... as a Gumblejack." Peri steps in to get things back on track and asks what they should do now. The Doctor thinks a moment, "We have to find a way to get into that hacienda without being detected."

Anita at that point says, "I know a secret way into the cellars. It used to lead in from the old icehouse."

Sometimes, he loves humans! "The cellars! That's even better! Peri, you'll have to cause a distraction while Jamie and I try to find out where I'm being held."

Peri narrows her eyes, "What sort of distraction?"

"Do I have to think of everything? Knock on the door and say you're lost!"

She shakes her head, "I don't speak Spanish!"

The Doctor flashes her that brilliant grin that makes it impossible for her to not go along with his hare-brained schemes, "That's all right. Neither do they." They all get to their feet but for his companion. He turns to the local couple, "Right, Anita, time to show us this icehouse."

Peri tries one last time to find another way, "What if a Sontaran answers the door?"

"That's not very likely. They seem to be keeping well out of the way at the moment. Come on!" He pulls the girl to her feet ignoring the sense of jealousy he gets from Jamie, "Lead on!"

0o0o0o0o0o0o0

The faint window for self -extraction from this situation had closed. Dastari was about to pump him full of still yet another chemical, even though the first three or four had done nothing but make him sick. He's trying still to convince the man that this is madness. He jerks his arm as much as possible as the injector moves again into place. "I'm afraid I'm unable to give you a full anaesthetic," his former friend tells him.

He swallows and shoots the man a fierce look, "Doing the job on the cheap, are you? You know you're running out of options that will do what you think you need them to do. I'm liable to just vomit all over you again."

Dastari pauses as he thinks about the chemical in the needle, "Why are you fighting me? You'll have to be conscious while the neuron bombardment excites your brain cells so I will then be able to examine them."

"You should be examining your own brain cells, Dastari! Most of them must have leaked out your ears or you wouldn't be involved in this madness!"

Whatever doubts he might have had seem to fade from his eyes and Dastari says, "This injection will simply inhibit the Motor Circuits. It should keep you from willfully having a gag reflex. Problem solved." He pushes the injector into the exposed skin on the Doctor's arm causing the bound man to groan from the sudden wave of nausea.

Stike barks out, "Get on with it, Dastari, you delay my war effort!"

He's moaning still but very aware, mentally fleeing again into the smaller forming brain of his son, trying desperately to protect the child from the onslaught of the drugs that might kill him. Dastari's voice echoes in his ears, "If you want this operation to succeed, Group Marshall, you will allow me to proceed as I decide and at the pace I consider appropriate." He then addresses the patient, "Count backwards from ten, Doctor."

He can't even shake his head. 'Bugger off!' he thinks, mentally pulling up as many derogatory images to toss at the somewhat psychic woman in the room as he can manage. "No... Ya expect me to 'elp you?"somehow makes it's way through his lips. He's not even sure of the language he speaks in. This forces Dastari and Chessene to use other methods to detect brain activity. And of course it's off the chart. He's still pulling on the Vortex for power, computing massive strands of block-transfer equations, and actively shielding the tiny life inside him. None of this brain activity will give them what they seek, however. He's forced his link to his TARDIS way to the back of his mind and put the rogue bond with Jamie over the top of it, so that it is good and blocked. He refuses to actively assist in his own murder. They are going to piss him off really good and he's going to give them a what for, so that they all know exactly how much power a Time Lord has, if they don't stop this nonsense.

"The next step is partially to detach the occipital bones," Dastari says to his audience. The psychic wave from the figure on the table scares him a bit. He's never encountered anyone with as much mental power. Without the skull there to hold it in would it flash like an atomic bomb and destroy everything around it? He blinks and forces the silly notion out of his head. He carefully picks up the required tool and moves back to the dark headed man. He's going to do this, just think of all the things he can learn... He shifts the head for better access to the proper area.

"Hello?" comes a female voice from above.

Chessene waves Dastari back, "Wait!"

"Is anyone there?"

0o0o0o0o0o0o0

Jamie felt more than a bit nervous. He was facing the prospect of being alone with this other Doctor, this different Thete. But his was near, he could feel the tug of their connection and could only wonder why it didn't translate to this older form. What might have happened to it? Anita, bless her brave soul offers to come with them. The Doctor shakes his head and tells her, "No, you've done quite enough already, bringing us here, Anita. I want you to collect Oscar and get off the estate as quick as possible." He offers her a final handshake in thanks and she not only takes it but kisses his cheek too. Jamie blinks at the flare of jealousy over the contact and brushes it away. This is not his Doctor. He bids her goodbye before turning to follow the blond bloke into the icehouse. He opens the trap door and discovers the fellow is already heading down the ladder, chattering as he goes, that at least, hasn't changed much, "Mind how you go, Jamie. This ladder seems a- WHOAH!"

Why the heavier fellow would insist on going first, the Scot has no idea. Perhaps it's a sense of needing to protect him because he's – what? Out of his time, crossed lines, younger? -- Jamie sighs, "'A wee bit rickety'. Is that what you were goin' to say, Doctor?" He looks down at the fellow who is picking himself up off the ground. Jamie sways as something in his head shifts. The fellow below him seems to make the same sort of movement. Then he motions for the lad to hurry down. Time is of the essence here. The Scot manages to make it down without falling, and they silently move into the cellar proper. The Doctor spots his younger self being moved into an old fashioned wheelchair and jerks Jamie back behind a pillar. Then spotting the correct time to move without being seen they carefully make their way to a more secure hiding spot. The two men with the seemingly unconscious little dark haired fellow wheel him toward the stairs. Once they have gotten him out of the cellar Jamie whispers, "We're not goin' after 'em?" he wants to, so very badly. The connection he has to the Doctor is thrumming something powerful and he needs to touch his Thete.

The Doctor with him glances at the tense form and puts a firm grip on Jamie's arm, "We'll have a good look 'round here, first." The piper sputters at him, protesting. He knows how badly the lad is hurting. He remembers how hard it was to endure long periods apart. Not thinking about the potential side-effects he catches Jamie by the chin and kisses him, "One of them's an Androgum, Jamie! He could break us both in half with one hand." The sparks that race into him are almost painful, but something breaks in the lad and it's clear that at last he believes that this strange fellow really is a future version of the man he loves. He licks his lips and blinks. The Doctor lets go of him. "I'm going to do everything possible to get you back to the version of me you need, OK. Please -- Trust me?"

His hearts are pounding in his chest and it hurts so much to let the boy go. But he's got bigger problems right now, and he can't afford to muck this up. Above him he hears Peri chatting still to the female Androgum asking typical survey questions. All he can do is hope and pray that she doesn't give them away somehow. He hears the sound of the chair as it creaks across the floor and the way Peri pauses in the rhythm of her speech. He pushes it away, turning to focus on the primitive Time Travel device. It draws him over and a plan forms. It might work... just might. Above him he hears Peri take off in a run and the Androgum male chase after her. That might be a problem. But his attention drifts back to the Kartz-Reimer module and he moves in for a closer look. Pulling out a small circuit he exclaims, "They got it almost exactly right!" Jamie frowns. He ignores the pointed look he's getting. Oh the trap is going to be just perfect. He glances at the outside controls, "Even down to the Briode Nebulizer, look!"

Jamie is not nearly as simple as he acts sometimes, and the Doctor hopes the boy will play along with him here. When he asks, "Well, what is it?" he knows that the lad realizes they are being listened too and is willing to help him out here.

"The Kartz-Reimer version of a TARDIS."

Jamie eyes the thing over again, "A TARDIS? Will it work?" he closes the door.

"Mm. It will if I use it, or any other Time Lord. Not for anyone else," the Doctor says. He excludes the fact that his time ship is much smarter than this cheap knock off and is able to grant what this one cannot. Fact is, Jamie, Peri, or any of his other companions could use this, although it would be a one-way trip and really there's no point...

"Why not?" the piper says, helping him even further. Oh he remembers now why he loves Jamie so much...

"The machine has to be primed, by what we call the Rassilon Imprimatur, that's a kind of symbiotic print on the physiology of a Time Lord. Once that's been absorbed into the Briode Nebulizer you have a time machine that anyone can use!" He manages just the right amount of smugness to make it seem genuine, "That, of course, was what they didn't understand. They simply copied the technology, without realizing that Old Rassilon had a second trick up his sleeve."

Fortunately it's about that time that Stike reveals himself, "A most interesting lecture, Time Lord." He's not alone, and really the new plan is far more likely to work if, and only if they get caught. So when one of the neckless fellows raises his gun neither the Doctor, nor Jamie put up a fuss. "Varl! Inform Chessene that we have another Time Lord for her collection."

"Very good, sir." the other fellow heads on his way, leaving them with Stike, who introduces himself.

The Doctor raises an eyebrow, "Long way from the war, aren't you, Stike? Going badly, is it?"

"On the contrary. And thanks to the information you've just given me, I shall be back in time for the crucial battle."

As far as he's concerned it won't change much. They've tried getting Time Travel before, after all, "My money's still on the Rutans." Angered by this, the fellow orders the Doctor into the primitive device. "Why? Oh, of course." even once he gets it, and is perfectly happy to play along, he must make it seem as though he's not, "You don't really expect me to give the Sontarans the power of unlimited time travel, do you?"

Stike threatens Jamie, nearly strangling him, "Do it, or your comrade dies." Of course he can't let that happen because if Jamie dies right now then his younger self will die and then he'll die... the shock of the situation makes his pause all too real. "Into the machine, Time Lord! Get in!" He locks eyes on Jamie and backs into the module, closing the door. The alien uses his gun to program the tiny buttons keeping a grip on the struggling human as he steps back and sends the thing away. It doesn't sound like a TARDIS. It does however disappear and reappear.

The Doctor calmly steps out, safe and sound, "Satisfied?"

"So, the machine is now primed," Stike asks. The Doctor confirms that it is, even though it's not really. The Sontaran then says, "Excellent. I shall now execute your comrade."

Jamie knows the panic the Doctor reveals here is totally honest, "Wait! Now, that's why you Sontarans have no allies!" The distraction means that he can reach the dirk easily. He gets a good hold on it and waits for the perfect moment. The blond Doctor pitches a right fit, "You can't be trusted!"

"We have no need of allies! Sontaran might is invincible!"

The piper however has other ideas on that. He sinks the dirk into the alien's leg to the hilt and then gives it an extra twist. The Doctor leaps into the fray, tugging Jamie away from Stike and pushing him off balance into the wall. "Run, Jamie!" Unlike his younger self , he has no intention of getting caught by these dimwits. He follows the flee footed Scot with a speed that his girth might not reveal him capable of. Behind them the laser goes off wildly, but the injured Stike does not, or can not, actually follow. Jamie burst out of the cellar into the courtyard with the blond Doctor on his heels. Looking for cover, and following the pull of the bond, Jamie leads them both to the chapel where the his Thete is still trying to work the drug from his system.

"Doctor!" the Scot hurries over to the wheelchair bound dark-haired little man.

"Jamie!"He does not even think to consider the feelings of the blond version of said Time Lord who ends up doubling back to locate them, swooping down and kissing his Thete, passionately. Since the Doctor in the chair cannot move much more than his neck and face at this particular moment and needs the contact just as badly as the piper does he can't object. Jamie remembers the other version after really too long of a time and pulls away, resting his forehead against the dark fringe of his bonded. The Doctor he's still touching murmurs, "There you are, Jamie..."

The other Doctor clears his throat and turns slightly, more to hide his reaction than anything else. After a moment Jamie straightens and puts a firm hand on his Thete's shoulder. Sensing that the situation is perhaps under some control now the blond turns and glares at his younger self. They lock gazes as he marches over. He puts his hands on his hips and sends a mental scolding that would turn most Time Lords into terrified seven-year-olds, 'How dare you! You must tell him. You have to. You can't keep this secret. It might change everything if he knows. Might alter so much. It could be great, you stubborn fool!' He stalks through the room, gaining on them with an intense haughty frown, 'I can't believe you put yourself in this much danger, you reckless imbecile. This is our lives you're playing with. And Jamie's, and – and your son's!' Finally he breaks the locked gaze because he's going to cry or reveal too much and then – everything is going to fall apart.

He's somewhat shocked when the other version of him blasts into his mind more powerfully than he could have ever imagined, 'My choice, you hypocritical twit. Bad enough that someone else besides us knows. Please tell me they didn't get a scan of you.'

Putting a hand on the chair, he closes his eyes, 'No. No scan. What they think they have and what they do have are two totally different things. What have you done?'

'Biological Temporal freeze. But you should remember that.' The two of them both say, "Snap!" then look at each other.

The blond leans over, levels an accusing finger, and says, "I've come a long way for you!"

The dark headed version rolls his eyes, "Naturally. Don't expect any thanks." Jamie kneels down and starts working on the ties, intending on carrying the Doctor out of here. The blond version watches for a second and starts to help when there's a noise from beyond the chapel door. They freeze then come to a joint wordless decision to see what made the sound. Jamie wheels the chair out into the hall beyond. Someone is coming that way.

"The kitchen! Come over here!" the blond Doctor says. But the sounds of Shockeye grunting put a halt to that idea.

"Too late!" Jamie says.

The blond casts about for another way, "Upstairs!" but then he can't take the chair bound version there. The younger version can act though, "Extemporize!" while he and Jamie take off up the stairs the chair bound Doctor glowers then effectively plays 'dead'

Shockeye enters with Peri over his shoulder, "Wake up, old Time Lord. Supper will soon be served! Haha!"

As if he's not vomited enough today... but the fellow does not pause, carrying the girl off into the kitchen. He struggles with the nausea and just has it under control again when Chessene and Dastari come into the hall as well, "Now that the Time Lords have located us, Dastari, we must move quickly."

The scientist takes his pulse, although really his knowledge of the species is less then it should be. "The operation cannot be hurried, Chessene."

She nods, "I'm aware of it." the woman paces around the chair as she considers the options and settles on a new goal. A new way to get the genetic material they need... " ...but I have a contingency plan. It's been in my mind for some time."

Dastari seems taken aback, "What contingency plan?"

She gives him a smile worthy of a black widow, "I want you to turn this Time Lord into an Androgum. You could do that, I know. I want you to make a consort for me... leave him the power of time travel, leave the symbiotic nuclei within him, but turn him into an Androgum, by blood and by instinct. How long would that take?"

"Well, if I had the genetic material..."

Chessene flirts a bit, "Take it from Shockeye."

This causes Dastari to blink rapidly, "Shockeye?" She nods. He's of good prime stock, after all. "Shockeye... yes. Two simple operations. The first to implant the genetic material, and then a second operation to stabilize his condition. Won't take long at all."

Jamie feels the sense of horror through his connection to his Doctor. What exactly does this mean? How can they stop it? The woman purrs, "Good. Then that is what we shall do." The flare of jealousy that burns in his chest requires the other, Peri's Doctor, to grip him and nearly hold him down. He's not going to lose his Thete, not now. He'll kill this female before she ever touches him, changed genes or no. The chair is wheeled away, back to the cellar. Jamie tries to jump up after it.

The blond Doctor catches him and pins him to the corner, putting his hands on the lad's head and flattening his hair to his scalp."Listen to me. Listen!" he hisses. The piper struggles, but is effectively wedged between the larger Doctor and the rail he is kneeling behind. His blows weaken, even though he really wasn't trying to hurt, more just to push the other man away. "Jamie. There is no way that Chessene can ever get him to do what is necessary to get her pregnant. Do you understand? It's just not possible. No matter what genes they try to splice, he'll still be bound to you. Are you listening to me?" He drops his hands from the Scot's head to his shoulders and gives him a shake. "Jamie." The blue-green eyes finally come up to match his, "No matter what genes they splice, he'll still be a Time Lord. Rassilon designed us that way. There's a Temporal-psychic element that these primitives can't even begin to see." He taps Jamie's forehead with a thumb. "He's yours, no one can ever change that. You must trust me. Please."

Jamie puts his hands on Peri's Doctor's elbows and takes in a shuttering breath, "Why canna I feel you? Is it here and now that I lose him? Is that why you're here?"

"What? No." He blinks back the emotion that is just so strong and powerful that he can't name it, although it hurts, so very much. "Jamie you won't lose him. I promise. I'm Five. Hundred. Years past you. For me, you're ... like – seeing a ghost. That's why you don't feel me, because so much time has passed." he searches the lad's eyes and realizes that Jamie doesn't believe him. "Bollocks..." He sits back. "I can't tell you what happens. How it goes. How much time you have. I can't. There've been trust issues, haven't there? But Jamie, I loved you. And you're the one with the power here. If you want to change things then you have to take control of it. Make him tell you. Make him tell you everything. Push for no secrets." With that he gets up. He needs to rescue Peri.

Fortunately, Shockeye has been called away from his companion by the time he makes it down the stairs and into the room where she's spread out on the kitchen table. Thankfully the vile creature that had her has not gotten around to 'preparing' the meat. He looks around for some way to wake her and settles on a pitcher of water over her head. That causes her to regain consciousness with a start, "Ugh!"

"Peri!" He put the pitcher down glances over to see Jamie hovering like a lookout in the doorway and then clears the space between himself and her as she sits up, "Can you stand?"

"Ugh, my head. What happened?"

He pulls her into a quick hug then off the table, not quite letting go of her, "Can you stand?"

Peri glances up at him and notices the faint signs of his nearly crying, "I... think so."

Jamie gives them the 'all clear' and he pushes her forward, even though she wasn't actually sure she could stand, much less walk, "Come on, then! Let's get out of here." Somehow she manages to go from dizzy and not standing to running. Then again, the Doctor has her fairly conditioned to such things. They get into the trees near the back gate before the Doctor signals them to stop. The Scot doesn't quite. He stays with them, true enough, but he paces, frantically. She looks from his distressed air to her Doctor's upset and overly quiet one. What has happened?

"What now? They've still got my Doctor," the piper spits out.

"I'd have thought Stike would have acted by now," her Doctor mumbles. He turns and catches Jamie, "Remember what I told you? Still yours, no matter what they do. Plus there's a chance to reverse the process, if we catch it just right."The piper grips the blond's arm, hard. Hard enough to bruise. The Time Lord just puts a hand over the piper's.

"What? What?" Peri pushes into the conversation suddenly needing to know what is going on.

Jamie looks from his locked gaze to her, "They're turning my Doctor into an Androgum!"

"And I've given Stike a functioning time machine. I expect he'd kill both Chessene and Dastari before he leaves so why isn't my plan working?"

Peri is still lost, "Your plan?"

Jamie frowns, "The machine worked. I saw it!"

"I said what I did, because I heard Stike and Varl coming up on us. Not all of it was strictly true, but he believed it because I was talking to you. The machine worked for me. But it won't work for him. Because...I have..." and with that he produces the circuit lifted from the controls, " ...the Briode Nebulizer." Jamie's grip finally relaxes. The Doctor grins at them both.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0

He didn't want this. Rassilon knew, he didn't want this. Because he didn't want it he was completely alert and vocally against it even before they got him down the stairs, "No! You know what this precious pair have cooked up for you, don't you Shockeye?" He's told to be quiet, not that he listens, "No! I don't wanna be turned into an Androgum!"

Of course, neither he nor his soon to be brother are given much choice. Chessene shoots Shockeye and he collapses onto the next table over, realizing what exactly the plan is, "Ah! Chessene!"

They are banded down with strips that would hold a cyberman while the genetic sample is taken, processed and administered . Dastari tells Chessene, "I've given the Time Lord a 50% Androgum Inheritance. Within an hour it will become the dominant factor. I can then stabilize his cell structure."

She declares, "Before then we must deal with the Sontarans." Using Choronic acid, and then she further states that she planned this quite a ways back, "I took the precaution of having three canisters prepared before we left the station...just in case." Dastari knows she can't carry out the plan alone and that Shockeye won't help her until her new consort orders him to. Hopefully the pair will remain oblivious to the world for at least the hour he needs to pass before he can stabilize the process. He follows her out.

Shockeye however was angered and that altered his biochemistry just enough to allow him to throw off the drugs. Then finding that he's still strapped down he becomes even more angered. He rips his way free, chest and feet. He's wanting to rip the house apart. Why? "Chessene... she betrayed me." He's going to kill the precious Time Lord and eat his liver! "You have fouled the blood of the Quawncing Grig!"He stalks about before realizing that the other being in the room is – the same blood. Confused, he tugs the sheet away and stares at the being that was the Time Lord. Should he kill the challenger?

"Capitanes in brandy sauce." The other Androgum grins at him, "The stuffing of black pudding made of live pig's blood, herbs, and pepper! The breasts of the birds should be slit and studied with truffles."

This changes everything... "You know the cuisine of this planet?"

"Of course I do! I have eaten pressed duck tu dajourn, dafidoliam corn food, made from rashes they're exquisite, Shockeye..." he pauses, thinking about everything and nothing. Why expend so much energy? Why – He's very hungry. "Why am I thinking of food?"

This is wonderful, "Because you are now an Androgum! Can you lead me to one of these eating places, to sample the local dishes?"

"Of course I can, but you will need proper clothes! A collar! A neck tie, at least."

Shockeye knows a better way to get his revenge... "I know where there are clothes..." He helps the new one to his feet leads him up the stairs and they prepare for a little trip... They don't really care about the crossings and double crossings going on outside. They don't care much about any of it, Time Travel or no. The Doctor only knows he must eat, and he must drink, and then he must sleep... and his body demands it because of the stresses he's placed it under as of late. So even though much of him rebels against this, the dominant part concurs with the Androgum side. It won't reveal why, only that he must do this if he wants to live.

He's happy to follow the newly garbed fellow out the back gate, to take his arm and treat him like a brother. It's the fastest way to get the food he needs. He'll keep the fellow interested, in spite the strange clothes, "Mild pate, I think, Shockeye, followed by a bisque de creibon, hmm?" Shockeye bobs his head in agreement. He's only faintly aware that his older self is following him. That's fine. He still needs the food, desperately.

"Tell me, on this planet do they ever eat their own?"

The Doctor is surprised that the idea doesn't sent him a wave of nausea. He thinks a bit, "I believe in the Far Indies it has been known... but I remember a dish... 'shepherd's pie'"

"'Shepherd's pie'? A shepherd? Can't we walk quicker?" He finds that the knowledgeable little fellow can indeed walk quicker, perhaps even faster than he can. The soon reach a road that is more finished than the last. He means to walk down it.

The Doctor pulls him to a stop, having a better idea and better ears, "Wait! There's a machine coming!" He flags down the truck, barely winces when Shockeye wallops the human driver, urges Shockeye in to the passenger seat and proclaims, "We shall be in Seville in five minutes!"

Once there they ditch the truck and set to the eatery on foot, debating the finer points of healthy gourmet banquets. Finally he tells Shockeye, "Au d'erve, my dearest brother, on this planet it is the custom. All the greatest chefs agree, Carema, Bria Samaranch, the noblest Scorpie, they all agree that a meal should begin with a light dish, something to bring relish to the appetite. Pate du frau'dar deStrasburg on raw food, for instance, or a serving of beylon oysters." his fellow moans in delight and he keeps right on talking, "Even a, even a light salad with... artichoke hearts and country ham will suffice, it gets the digestive juices flowing!"

0o0o0o0o0o0o0

Jamie has watched everything that has happened. He's rather upset by it all, considering he still feels his connection to what is now less than his Doctor. The behavior is worse than with the Daleks. Only this time he knows in his heart that his Thete does not want to be this way but can't help himself. He'll run to the end of the earth to help him. Finding that he's slipping away spurs him on to run even faster. All the way to Seville. Once there they find the truck easy enough. They must be near. But where? The blond Doctor points out a direction. Jamie thinks he's another way but follows along anyway. Of course had Jamie just turned around and looked he might have realized that his Doctor was just a square away, heading to a very famous establishment

Peri's Doctor is making less and less sense too. By the time they spot Chessene searching restaurants it's almost too late, as he's starting to go after anything that has meat on it, even if it's still alive. For the longest time they just miss each other, like two pendulums on opposite measures. Going by the clothes the pair left the house in they should check all the fancy places. In the end it is Peri that points the location out, based on not spotting them, but the strange idea that because her Doctor heard the name of the place that perhaps Jamie's Doctor would think to eat there. Tragically, she's right.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0

He's tried to keep this invasion of his body limited to his dominant circulatory system. His brain, his appearance, his behavior. The Temporal freeze helps a little, to fight off the virus. It's a fast sweeping infection, but once it crests it will be easily defeated. As long as it remains within the main dominant areas of his primary heart and circulatory system. There's a reason he must fight this, inside. He knows that there is, but can't remember quite what that reason is at the moment. It hardly matters, only that he fight it. So he allows his body to war with it, isolating it, containing it as only a -Royal?- Lordly - body can do. But the fight requires energy. And the body needs food, nutrients, minerals, calories...

He takes his brother with him into Las Cadenas. The young fellow serving them is perfectly composed. He places some bits of moneys on the table, taken from where the clothes came from, after allowing himself to be seated. After some banter that he ignores he tells the waiter what they will start with: lobsters, clams, and squid, brains in white sauce, two cold suckling pigs, a ham with peas, eight steaks, and an entire family paella. This they will follow with wine, a dozen breasts of pigeons, and several other dishes off the menu. He makes sure the pesetas he's brought will cover at least his half. There's no problem with him eating his portion. The first time the server comes by for payment he shoves the notes at him and waves him away. Shockeye continues to eat, but he's starting to feel drowsy now, as the viral agent is working out of his system finally. Some small part of him worries that he's not done enough to protect his babe, right before he breaks out into a sweat to flush out the alcohol and falls into a stupor at the table. He is far too gone to even remotely protest the violence that results in the poor server's death, even as he knows it happens and is powerless to stop it.

His older self rouses him moments later, "Can you walk?"

He opens his eyes, "Of course I can walk!" It's a mistake, on his part. The clown-like garb threatens to make his stomach rebel. He pushes the blond back and braces himself on the table. The older version settles hands on him again, pressing into the proper points on his body to force the nausea away.

"Well, come on, then!" says the other, as he is dragged to his feet. The larger man groans with effort, "Come on!" However, he might stumble out, crawl out even, but he's not walking out without considerable help. The blond version loops an arm around him and hauls him out of the restaurant, babbling as they go, "I am a police officer, sir, follow me. Anything you do say-" The only saving grace to this is that Jamie is there and he's thrown off the genetic splicing. The fellow's internal monologue and tongue-lashing drives into him more than being hauled, dizzily, into the streets when he needs to rest. He's going to be sick again, and when he does... The blond catches him with the pressure points again just in time and thinks, 'Oh, no... Don't you dare. You can't afford to lose what you just ate with all the energy you are expending. You are pregnant after all -- '

The first thing he gets back is his temper and it's a whopper of one. How dare he chide him on this. It's his choice, his life, his. Damn it. He pulls away and shouts in fury, "What is this? Who do you think you are?" Jamie and Peri hurry to catch up as the blond and dark headed Doctors really set into each other.

"Now you come along with me!" the blond grips his arm again tightly, pelting him with a flow of mental argument he cannot block.

"How dare you?!" he rages, "Let go of me!" He resorts to a jolt of remembered intense sensation that causes the other man to jerk his hands off his body with a shutter and a glare. He's the more powerful, mentally, and drives home this fact with punishing vividness.

They glare at each other, mentally carrying on a row that would shock most of their kind with its violence and coming to the conclusion to agree to disagree, then point opposite directions before both saying, "This way!"

The blond points at the dark haired one, "Now, look, you got me into this mess!"

Before Jamie's Doctor can say anything Peri steps between them, "Will you two please stop squabbling?" They both look at her. She sighs. Then points at a third direction, "We'll go this way." Peri and Jamie both head off down the side street. The two Doctors glare some more, the older silently commanding the younger to stop being so stubborn and just tell Jamie what the lad should know already before they both follow their companions.

They don't get far before Chessene's voice brings all four to a halt, "No. You'll come this way. We have some unfinished business to attend to." She levels her gun at them The smaller Doctor, having every reason to fear, puts his hands up and the other three with him soon do to. They are taken back to the house in a horse drawn buggy. Amazingly the horse has not been eaten, although Shockeye will gladly fix that. By the time they return it's clear that someone has beat them back, as the reception hall has been torn apart. Chessene calls out, "Shockeye?"

He answers from the kitchen, "Yes?" appearing moments later covered in an green stained butcher's frock carrying – something.

"What has happened here?" the female Androgum inquires of him as she indicates the devastation.

Shockeye glances about, shrugs, and then says, "It seems that Group Marshall Stike... I found this." He holds up the item which turns out to be a leg, "Um -- vaporised his spaceship... and himself, after – looking for you?"

Dastari frowns, "So he survived the Coronic acid?"

"Obviously," Chessene says. After a moment she realizes that Shockeye is not going to stab her in the back because the challenging male is no longer a threat and she hands him her gun, in effect re-elevating him to the position of consort once more. Delighted with that he brandishes it at the prisoners, leering at the dark headed Doctor as though he's won. She gives him a moment to gloat before commanding, "Down to the cellars. You know the way, I think." Everyone files down the stairs. Once down there she instructs Shockeye to keep the prisoners guarded. She moves to the Kartz-Reimer Module and peers at it, "The control box has been moved...is it damaged?"

This draws Dastari over, "The Briode Nebuliser: it's gone."

The blond Time Lord steps forward, in front of the others and produces the chip from his waistcoat pocket, "You mean this?" He's all innocence. The chip is worthless, really. The pod will work but only for those who have crossed into the vortex in a true TARDIS.

Chessene whorls on him, "Why did you remove it?"

He smugly answers, "Because it contains my Symbiotic print." which is what they've been after, in their round about way.

She snatches it from his hand, not paying attention to the scrape of his nails across the delicate circuit. He hands it to Dastari, "Return this to the machine."

Instead he raises an eyebrow, "How did your Time Lord print get onto this?"

The blond rolls his eyes, "Instead of doing it the hard, long, painful way... Stike forced me to prime and use the machine." Chastened, Dastari puts the missing chip back into the control box. He feels like a total fool.

"There is a simple way to see if you are still trying to deceive us," Chessene warns. The blond Time Lord merely raises an eyebrow at her, haughtily. She glances at Dastari who silently agrees with her course of action. She crosses the room, grabs Peri, and drags her back to the pod, "Come, girl." While the Doctor (the dark-headed fellow) and his young jack both attempt to protect her, the prideful Time Lord (the blond) prevents them from stopping her. She frowns then pushes the human into the open pod. Peri looks out to her Doctor rather worried, but he gives her a nod, like he's saying everything is fine and she somehow manages to not freak out when the door is closed. Both Chessene and Dastari step back from the module. She glares at the three others, "Now we shall see."

"Kartz and Reimer performed many experiments like this. The subject always vapourised into the time stream."

"Peri won't. And she hasn't any Symbiotic Nuclei, I can assure you." As Dastari sends the pod into the Vortex then pulls it back out, revealing a perfectly unharmed Peri in the process, the blond Time Lord says happily, "You see? " They send her away again and bring her back, still unharmed, although she's clearly worried. Chessene opens the door, orders Peri out and runs a scan of her, coming up that she perfectly normal, and perfectly healthy. "Satisfied?" the blond Time Lord asks her.

She pushes Peri back into the group, "Dastari, chain these creatures up."

"Chain us up? After I've handed you the secret of time travel on a plate?! Come on, Chessene! Where's your gratitude?" The blond one yells as they are pushed further into the dungeons.

There's not much they can do as Dastari forces Peri to chain up the two male Time Lords. She's just following the order to chain Jamie when Shockeye marches in and grabs him, "Been promised a human since before we reached here. Been wanting your flesh since I first set eyes on you." Jamie struggles, crying out in pain, but the alien is far too strong. "Chessene's agreed. You'd make a fine feast." the Scot fights for all he's worth still being dragged away, "Ah, steady my beauty! Haha! Ho, there's some meat on this one, Chessene!"

Peri wants to rush to help, and the smaller Doctor seems very upset, "Jamie!" But Dastari forces her back into her own set of shackles, locking her into place while keeping his gun leveled on her. He then shows them the keys, gives the Doctor a significant expression over the top of the weapon and then stalks away. The dark headed one shouts, "You might at least say goodbye!" After a moment he says, "You're almost as clever as I am. I'm assuming you sabotaged the Briode Nebuliser?"

"Didn't need to, it won't work. I lied," the blond says. "Not now, Peri. I'll explain later."

She sputters with questions of how the device could work for her, if the pieces didn't work, but the smaller Doctor cuts her off, "Not now, child. We've got to get Jamie out of that butcher's hands!"

Both of the Doctors come up with a plan at the same moment, "Can you reach that wheelchair?"

"I'm not elastic!" she is so angered by these two... just so. Grr.

Jamie's Doctor sighs. "I see. I was wrong. You are not a child, Peri. You are a skillful young woman – Who happens to just be tall enough to reach that wheelchair with your feet, if you try." She looks over at him, blinking. Her Doctor would never admit to being wrong about anything. He manages a smile at her, looking oddly green about the gills, but rather glowing with possibility. She glanced back at the chair. Yes maybe she could reach it. If she tried. She slowly stretched out and then extended a leg, just able to catch the lower wooden rung with the ball of her foot. Taking a breath she pulls it closer, balances on it, and hooks the same rung with the heel of her other foot. Not thinking about how wrong it might go, she pulls the chair over and carefully untangles herself from it.

"Good girl!" says her Doctor, lavish with praise, if nothing else.

"What's the idea, Doctor?" Peri asks.

It's Jamie's version that answers, "Push it over towards him," He indicates her Doctor.

Confused she says, "Why? He's not going anywhere!"

"Peri, dear... Trust us, em?" She pushes the chair over, feeling her Doctor help her with it. They both make noise of encouragement until the chair is safely in her Doctor's control and he's gotten it positioned just right. He's got it lined up with the table and the keys she notes. He looks at his younger self, "What do you think?"

"Might work. It's worth a try," the darker headed one agrees. All Peri can do is watch as her Doctor, who is the tallest of them, carefully works the wheelchair under the edge of the table. Once he's gotten it there he positions both feet just so, pauses a moment, and gives the chair a flipping motion worthy of a master skateboarder. The chair takes the table with it and flings the keys to the floor within reach of his feet. He steps on ring and drags it over, pushing the keys under his body until he can get his hands on them. In short order he's quite free. He turns to unlock his younger self when a scream from above filters down to them. The other man winces, then shouts, "Oh, never mind me! That's Jamie! Help him!" The blond starts for door. "The keys!" the younger version says like he's lashing the skin off the other man's back. Peri's Doctor turns and slides them across the floor into the younger version's reach before dashing out. Hearing something, the remaining Doctor pauses and stuffs the keys into a pocket before Chessene steps into view and looks at he and Peri. "He took off." She stomps away. The dark haired Time Lord closes his eyes.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0

He's never felt such pain... not physical pain anyhow. He feels like his muscles and skin and tissues are being scrambled. When he struggles the pain is even worse. He's being tortured to death, one limb at a time, painstakingly slowly. There's this horrible whirring sound, under his screams, as his muscles are vibrated apart, turning him into ground flesh, around bone, just under his skin. It's agony unlike anything he could have ever imagined.

And he knows his Thete can feel it all.

Jamie's of a mixed mind about this, part of him feels so guilty and wants to close off the pain, to save his Thete from it. And part of him wants the Doctor to feel this, to hurt too, because – even now on the brink of death he knows the infuriating alien is keeping secrets from him. It's his anger that protects his psyche from the agony his body is flooded with, his anger that drives him toward the bond in his mind. His anger that builds into possessive madness that he's only felt twice before. He wants to shout and scream and claim what is his.

He reaches the white tense line in his mind, the plane that connects him to Thete, clutching at it with all his might. He's dying... fading from shock and broken blood vessels, all the advanced information that his Thete's taught him while he learned to read Galliferyan flashing past him. He knows he's dying.

The pain pauses. Fearful that it means the end is even nearer than when he pain was constant, the piper falls even deeper into the bond, 'Don't you love me? Can't you save me? Am I not worth that?' His answer is a golden light, sparkles that remind him of the TARDIS, and the Doctor's blood, and Time itself, when he sometimes catches a glimpse of it. He can feel Thete slide against his soul, guiding the energy. Something pops in his memory.... A white room, horrible violence, pain and fear, him ripping off clothing and forcing himself - he knows what rape is, and this thing he's remembering is that... and he's the one guilty of it.

Even so, his Thete pours power into him, carefully undoing the damage he's been subjected to, rolling back his personal time to before Shockeye got his hands on him. Jamie realizes something... not all of his Thete's secrets might be things he wants to know. The depth of the current connection however means he sees things about Thete's past, his childhood, his schooling, difficult and painful things, things he never dreamed his Thete had to endure. By the time the healing is done Jamie is mentally struggling to get away from the taunts of 'Wormhole' and the endless rote of mindless regurgitation. He finds the treatment appalling, more so than his own piper's training was. He's struggling to push away the press of minds and the constant feeling of needing to prevent anyone else from getting too close lest they betray him. He fully understands now why Thete fled from the nearly dead 'hallowed' halls of his people because he cannot stand the crush of disapproval that shadows everything he remembers of that place.

Then Thete pulls away, and Jamie realizes one further thing... There's still a single secret being hidden from him. After all he's seen, does he really want to know?

He fights his way back to consciousness. The first thing he notices is that his limbs are stiff and tender, even though the horrible damage has been healed. He moans softly. The second thing he notices is the smell of blood. The Doctor's blood. Blood he remembers the taste of, rather more vividly than he'd like at the moment. If these foul creatures have hurt the Doctor, either of them, he'll be very angry.

He raises his head, realizes that his bonds but for a single hand have been cut, snags a knife from nearby and finishes freeing himself. "Right. I'll have that Shockeye, so will." but first he's going to get his Thete out of here. He heads down the cellar stairs, completely hyper-aware. He's seemingly able to smell and see and feel more than he used to, but his mind is also able to make sense of it, so he accepts this, and carefully makes his way to the bottom of the steps. There's a creak above him and he tucks himself into the shadows as Chessene dashes down the stairs. Ahead of him the Doctor and Dastari seem to be talking rather friendly-like. Perhaps that is a sign that the madness here is nearly spent. As Chessene demands to know why the Doctor and Peri are still alive, he silently moves into a position to help take her down.

Her words mark her as mad, "I set myself among the gods! And now I shall liberate my people! With me as their leader they shall reign over all other beings." With that she shoots Dastari. He can hear sounds of the Doctor trying to get Peri to some sort of cover. Just as Chessene shouts "Stop!"and goes to fire Jamie throws the knife he's carried down from the kitchens. It hits her gun and cuts right through it. No longer thinking clearly, Chessene dashes into the pod, turns it on, and tries to use it.

Jamie steps out and then motions to his Thete and Peri who both carefully come over to him. It's perfectly clear that the module is not working correctly. After a moment it has a terrible internal explosion and Chessene flings her burning body out the door, shrieking like a banshee. She topples to the floor, rapidly degenerating into her natural form then disintegrating. "Molecular disintegration," Thete says, "Horrible."

Peri sighs, "So... that's it then."

"Aye..." Jamie slightly relaxes before remembering, "Except for that Shockeye!"

Behind them the blond Doctor says, "He's been, er, 'moth-balled'." He then limps up to the rest of them, "My word. That's a mess! Take you a while to put THAT back together again!"

"That will NOT be necessary," says Jamie's Doctor, as he pulls out the disk from his coat, grinning smugly.

The blond blinks, rather stunned, "A Stattenheim remote control?!" Quickly coming back to himself he tries to snatch the thing away. The smaller Doctor merely moves it out of his older self's reach. Peri's Doctor puts his hands on his hips, "Where did you get that? I've ALWAYS wanted one of those!"

He is not going to mention that it's a borrow or that he's got to give it back, of course, "Some of us have, er, these little privileges." With that he makes a sharp distinctive whistle and his TARDIS appears in the nearest clear area. He moves over to it and unlocks the door, "Jamie!"

They've still got some issues to work out, "Ah, after you, Doctor."

Definite issues... "No. After you, Jamie." Jamie says his goodbyes, kissing Peri and getting a welcome wash of jealousy before he steps into the TARDIS. She greets him warmly and he notices, right away, how much this younger version is hurting, having met the older one and traveled within it. Behind him his Thete says to Peri's Doctor, "Do try and keep out of my way in future and in past, there's a good fellow. The time continuum should be big enough for the both of us. Just."

There's the odd rustle in the back of his mind that sounds an awful lot like an intense conversation going on in native Gallifeyan. Of it he catches one thing: 'You must tell him.' He hears the blond say, "You know, I think I preferred you as an Androgum!" as his Doctor closes the door. Jamie watches Thete at the controls, knowing that before they pick up Victoria they must return the remote. He has a bad feeling that the final secret that Thete's holding onto is the exact thing that the older Doctor was trying to get him to share. He sighs. Does he really want to know? And why is Thete resting his hand on his belly like that?